Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Joshua's Super Sweet 16

November 29, 1995 - that is when my adventures in mommyhood began. It's hard to believe I have a 16 year old! I feel like I'm still in my 20's (most days) and for a girl knocking on 40's door, I look pretty darn good too! ANYWAY, enough about me...lol I guess I should have put this up earlier in the week but I guess that is the difference between a birthday celebrated on a Friday versus a birthday celebrated on a Tuesday night!

I know a lot of you may have seen that ridiculous show on MTV, where parents spend obnoxious amounts of money celebrating their child's sweet 16 birthday... well since the real estate market took a dump in 2008, I wasn't able to take a second mortgage out on the house to make his dreams come true with Rap stars and Go-Go dancers, sorry. I mean if his party could get the same return on investment as Kim Kardashians wedding bash (aka PubStunt or just your good old run of the mill - Sham), it would have been well worth the effort. Unfortunately, I never planned on such an event, it's just not how we roll.

SO, in our family tradition, the birthday boy got to chose where he'd like to dine for the evening (we all know he wasn't going to choose a home cooked meal, I can't blame him either) and the family all joined together to sing Happy Birthday and watch him blow out the candle on his lemon meringue pie (this is a veering off the tradition, but it's what he wanted instead of cake, so be it!) and of course - presents.

We were kind of stumped as to what he could possibly need, we know what his top 3 list items were, 1. Driver Ed, 2. Car and 3. Laptop... Well the first two weren't happening, he's got some work to do before that comes to fruition. The Laptop was something we were throwing back and forth. It is, and we both realize, a bit much for a birthday present, even this overly dramatized 16th birthday. We did decide that if we did make such a large purchase, it would be like, Happy Birthday - Merry Christmas (maybe throw in Valentines Day, St Patrick's Day and Memorial Day too!) - So off to Best Buy we went.

Joshua stayed over his friends house on Monday night, so bright and early (and really to make sure he was up in time to go to school) I called him and sang my little heart out. His reaction, "Thanks Mom." - Ahhhh teenagers... I am sure he didn't even listen to the entire song! Regardless, the count down began to his present unveiling... I know, the 1st Birthday - Princess wrapping is so played out, but hey it's not like we were going to use it again anyway... Lord knows I don't need to store more wrapping paper! Besides, I found it humorous...maybe it's just me, but I'll take what I can get!

So all day, time is winding down, you'd think it was my birthday - I was so excited to see his reaction... Would it be tears? Would there be a girly scream to rival those Justin Beiber (I don't understand why) would hear trying to buy bubblegum at the grocery store? Would he jump up & down yelling "Thank You! Thank You! You're the best parents in the world!!!"... No, there would be none of that. I'd like to think it was shock and awe,  Stephen later told me Joshua had tweeted his excitement moments after opening his gift... well that makes me feel better...lol

Josh McMorrow

I got a new Mac book!

And course he had gone to the House of Blues to see Mac Miller, he met him that morning at the mall or something when he was Black Friday Shopping with a friend... The boy loves his twitter, I wonder if Mac Miller ever responded...

Josh McMorrow

follow me it's my birthday.
Anyway, back to the festivities! Joshua almost didn't want to go to dinner, but he is 16, and apparently needs to feed like a cow in the mid-west, because the boy does not stop eating. Which is one reason he HAS to get a job this summer, I mean besides the fact I work from home now, I can't afford to have him home everyday for every meal... he needs to start carrying his weight around here!

Of we went to dinner... We went to Liberty, not my favorite, but it's where he wanted to go... I am not a steak person, so I ordered the salmon, why it came out looking fried is beyond me...yuck. Anyway, he seemed to enjoy his meal & was looking forward to getting back to the house to play with his new laptop!

All in All I think it was a success, he enjoyed his birthday and now will bug me to help him set this and that up on his computer as he learns the way of the Mac.
I can't believe he is 16, wow. Just WOW. I may be taking this harder than when I turned 30... or when he turned 5...that was rough too...lol

Happy Sweet 16 Joshua... you're a great kiddo and we've been through a lot, we've had some ups and downs, but at the end of everyday one thing has never changed, and never will - I love you, seriously... I do.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gabriella Turns 1!

Thinking back to a year ago, it's hard to believe how much my life has changed. It's been a busy weekend at the Eptons. We started off our holiday weekend with the Turkey Trot, shared a fabulous meal and then today, we celebrated our baby girls FIRST birthday! It's hard to believe in 4 days, Joshua will be 16!!! Where has the time gone? Is it me or does it go by faster and faster the older I get?

This morning Gabby decided once again that 330am was a fine time to rise and shine. I really didn't think she would go back down. I was up with her until about 430am, then reinforcements arrived, meaning Stephen. I would say around 5am, she was finally back down. Of course 630am the princess was ready to kick off her birthday festivities! We started the morning with a pancake and some fresh apple slices. She tried a blueberry but it must have been too tart, admittedly, I laughed when she scrunched her face and shook side to side...lol

We played for a while after breakfast, she was winding down but fighting a nap big time! I had so much prep to do for her big day and it wasn't long before is was 10am and I had nothing done yet... She finally decided to go down around 1045, so then I started on her smash cake. I will be completely honest, when Joshua turned one, I didn't even know what a smash cake was. I would say, I cut a piece of his birthday cake and he ate it like crazy! I decided I would make her smash cake match her bakery cake - Pink & Purple. Of course, I took it to the next level, Purple cake, Pink icing...

It seems like when you have people coming to your house, you always run out of time...why would today be any different right? I was running in different directions and despite a call from Stephen from the store telling me they couldn't find her cake, it was all under control.  I was relieved to see Stephen arrive home with the cake, apparently they were just having issues locating it, phew. Everyone arrived at the same time, even the pizza delivery chick, and I was still in the midst of finishing up icing and decorating her cake and the cupcakes. After some pizza, it was time for presents...

 If I had to guess I would think that Gabriella was on sensory overload. There were so many people, so much attention and so much unwrapping to do! I know for a fact that she was very pleased with all of her prezzies because when it was cake time, she really just wanted to continue to ride around!

I have to say, I may have erroneously thought that Gabby would dive into her cake face first... She was a lot more skeptical than I would have ever imagined. I thought for sure she would have crumbs flying, icing on the walls and be covered in cake remnants! She was tame, fortunately, daddy was there to try to show her the ropes... Kinda regretting my "lead by example" motto... no, not really... it was a pretty awesome spectacle, as seen in the video (it's kind of long but it's cute!)

I believe her first birthday was quite a success, there was pizza, cake and a stroll around the hood in her new wagon (there is another seat, so Connor may get invited on a walk about one day soon...lol) - She was tuckered out, got a nice bath and went down a little earlier than usual (which means I will probably be up at 2am but totally worth it) which is nice, I needed to relax a little - it's been a long, busy day for me too!

Happy FIRST Birthday Gabriella, Mommy & Daddy love you so very much!

Now, 4 more days until Joshua's birthday...OYE!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving Thanks & The Grand Strand Turkey Trot 8k!

Oh Thanksgiving morning, how I adore thee... Honestly, it's quite possibly my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving morning last year, I had welcomed my daughter, Gabriella, into the world. Needless to say I missed the Turkey Trot and enjoyed (sorta) my dinner in the hospital.
This year I couldn't feel more blessed. I am in the full swing of my passion for running, back into my pre-pregnancy jeans, and thoroughly embracing everyday with my family.  A lot of awesome things have happened for me, and my family. I had my daughter, completed my first unofficial triathlon, ran my first half, took a new job and found time to smell the roses.
When I was approached by The Digitel Myrtle Beach to be their sponsored athlete for the Myrtle Beach Race Series, I was thrilled! Who me? Ah, heck yeah! So today was the first race of the series, and I completed the 5th Annual Grand Strand Turkey Trot 8k.

It was a typical morning, I had been up with Gabby at 3am, back to sleep at 4am, and the dreaded alarm blared at 615am. Ugh. My friend Jenn picked me up at 7am, we decided to carpool to packet pickup on this very chilly and a little bit breezy Thanksgiving morning.

We had some time to kill after we got our bibs & shirts so we just spent it chit chatting in the car, since it was still 45 degrees out. As the time dwindled we made our way to the start. I guess there was an overwhelming response to this event (which is awesome since it was for charity!) and we got off to a little bit of a late start but nothing crazy. I didn't mind because I had a few minutes to catch up with my friend Christine who had recently moved away, and was in town! She was pacing her little boy while pushing a double jogger - she kinda rocks like that! I wish we had more time to chat but it wasn't long before the siren sounded and off we all went! Jenn is a tad faster (ok, a LOT faster than me) and when the crowd started moving, she was gone.

I decided for this race that I would abandon my start fast and go like that for as long as possible, since it really wasn't working for me. I decided today that I was there to simply enjoy the run. So the only goal I set, stay under a 10 minute mile, and finish before 50 minutes. The course is flat, they say fast, but I say - depends on who's running it! As I hit 1.70 miles a gust of wind took my Nike visor right off my head! Thankfully (as going with the theme for today) a runner that was behind me scooped it up and handed it back to me. The whole visor thing through me for a minute, I had to get back into a groove.

 The 8k and 5k runners started off together, and as we reached the split, I have to be honest - I had wished I was doing the 5k! I think my problem is that I really don't get comfortable until about 3.5 miles.

As I started heading down Farrow Parkway, I started seeing people coming back (since mile 3 & 4 are an out and back) already - sometimes that can be a downer. Today, I just looked at the people passing me trying to guess how fast they were going and perhaps for a fleeting second, daydreamed about how it would feel to be at the head of the pack. Despite my daydreaming, I maintained a good pace, and soon enough I was turning around. Now, I was the person people were seeing, and all I could think was, "Good job guys!", and I like to think that's when everyone who was passing me was thinking too!

I was at about 4.7 miles when I felt like I could pee myself (any woman with a child knows what I am talking about) but I knew I was close to the end.  The running path had started getting busy with non-racers, so I was weaving in and out of walkers and post-race peeps cooling down. Just a little farther, it's right about this corner, up over this last little bridge. You got to love a little downhill action to propel you toward the end, and boy did I need that! I don't have an official time yet, but according to my Garmin, my time was 49:28 (Update: Official Chip Time : 49:33) and my average time splits were 9:46, 10:01, 9:53, 10:00, 9:40 and 8:07 with an overall average pace of 9:52. In my book, not a bad day at all - this turtle will take it!

What could be better than hitting a race goal you ask? Well for me, I think the best part of any race is when I can see my wonderful husband, who is always so supportive of all my races, standing at the finish line holding my baby girl. Someday she will actually understand what is going on, and I can't wait to hear her cheer me on... Of course the Eptons never decline a photo op, so here we are taking a minute to digitally document our day at the race, thanks to Jenn for being our photographer ;)

Cutie Connor
The last part of the day, which I think is beyond adorable is the Tot Trot. Of course next year Gabriella will be sporting a pair of Newtons (do they even make them that small?) for the Tot Trot so watch out! My friend Regan was there with her adorable son Connor (a.k.a. Future Heart Breaker!). He was so pleased with his race bling, and who wouldn't be?
I think he was making eyes at Gabby too - we will have a chat about that later! I love seeing little kids being active, kudos to all the parents out there making their kids part of this wonderful race day!

Now no race would be complete with admiring my own race bling! I love this medal, it's cute, it's colorful and it's a good size too! I really had a good time at this Turkey Trot, there were so many people just hanging out, listening to music and putting off positive vibes.

I am so excited for this whole race series! Next up in the series is the Pressed for Time which means this girl here better be hitting the weights! I'm not hitting on much when it comes to the upper body strength and I am going to need to do some serious work! The bench press portion happens on January 13, 2012 and the race is the 14th. I cannot wait to see what the t-shirt and race bling for this race it going to look like!
The rest of my Thanksgiving involved me attempting to make a homemade macaroni & cheese (which turned out pretty awesome if I do say so myself!), and nice dinner with family and friends, and of course a little football! I haven't quite made it to dessert, my mom made homemade apple pie & pumpkin squares, not sure what I am waiting for! I guess Monday is when I will be recommitting to a healthy diet and fitness routine...
Tomorrow is my baby girls first birthday so there is cake in my immediate future! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I know I could not feel more blessed than I do today.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Race to Save Hearts

I was originally supposed to run in the Pajama 5k in Charleston. I had won the entry on Active, but then Stephen was going to have to work... As it turns out, last minute that was not the case but with a baby, you can't just make last minute plans to go out of town for the night. So, I did what anyone in my running mind would do, I found a local race.
The Race to Save Hearts is a charity run, with all proceeds going to the American Heart Association. It started last year, Rachel McFall put together this run to honor her mother who she had lost to a heart attack just a few months prior to her 50th birthday. Rachel was in high school when her mother passed, and it is inspiring for such a young lady to want to organize this event to raise awareness of Heart Disease.

Last year at this time I was just days from giving birth to Gabriella, so I did not run in this race. This year, I thought fate may have stepped in, I felt this was exactly where I needed to be. I lost my father in 2008 to congestive heart failure, he was diagnosed with heart disease when I was 10, at which time he was 38 years old. The doctors gave him 2 years to live. He of course being Irish and stubborn lived until he was 62, and even then - he was gone too soon if you ask me. My dad had a plethora of ailments; heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity - secondary ailments of peripheral neuropathy and edema, so bad he could barely get a shoe to fit. It's hard to lose a parent, regardless of how old you are, but I felt for Rachel as I heard her story, and I wish her all the best.

I kept telling myself...
The morning was COLD, like 42 and windy. I had hopes of cranking out an awesome race, dreaming of a PR (it's been a while since I had one of those), upon arriving to the cold wind, I was beginning to think, perhaps not. It didn't take long before we decided that the crisp wind was just a little too much for the baby, so Stephen took her back to the car before the race started. Unfortunately, the weather also kept the number of participants down to probably the number of degrees it was outside.

As I got to the start line, I popped my headphones in and press play... nothing. Not a light, not a flicker, nada. Awesome. I hate running without music if I am runnign by myself. I needed Eminem to keep me warm today and I was left with nothing. Then we got the Get Ready - Bang! and off I went, eager to make this a PR. I started off WAY too fast, and did I mention for some unknown reason, I didn't bother switching my orthotics to these shoes? Duh. I felt good for the first mile, averaging a 9:13, but then I hit a wall and mile 2 was 11:27 avg pace, mile 3 little improvement, 10:48. The last 10th of a mile I kick in, but I was mentally destroyed. Final time, 32:25 with an avg pace of 10:26. My slowest time since my first race at 8 weeks postpartum, and before that, well never. How depressing...

Could I be losing my mojo? I need to get back on this 'horse' so to speak, kick it up a notch and get off this lazy train. I have become complacent. How could this have happened to me? Well the real question is, regardless of the how it happened - how do I fix it? I will mention here that I did place 3rd for my age group, remember there were like 40 people who showed up, so my odds were pretty good. I hate that I went in wanting to do so well and I kinda sucked... bad.

What does this really mean in the grand scheme of things? Simply put, S%#t happens. sometimes you just have a crappy run, sometimes you haven't hydrated, haven't trained or even haven't rested enough... and sometimes you've physically shown up to an event where mentally you've hung the vacancy sign. Regardless of the 'why' of this race, I'll lived to run another day (god willing). So I will do what I would advise anyone else to do. Put your big girl panties (or big boy briefs) on, and just try again. It's not the end of the world, and since I am sponsor free, I have nothing to lose... I just need to swallow this craptacular race like liver & onions, and move on. Remembering only that I want to do better, figure out what changes I need to make, and then execute.

So my point? Keep going. We tend to hold on to the bad outcomes a lot longer than we do the good. It's not always going to be your day, or your race but it is just one race, it is just one day. Mentally we need to train ourselves to accept our shortcomings as a natural part of life. Draw from them, the learning experiences they can offer, and toss the rest to the side. We can't always be the best at everything, but we can give everything our best.

For the record (after checking again): my iPod was completely charged, apparently there is a lock of some sort (I've owned this thing for oh, almost 4 years and never used a lock) and unbeknownst to me, it was locked...ugh.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TNT Lousy Medal Virtual 5k Run/Walk 12/17!

Are you over all the Team in Training posts yet? I know, I know… it seems like that is ALL I ever talk about these days, but I can't apologize…nor will I. When I decided to take on this challenge of raising $3800 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I thought it was impossible. Seriously? I can't imagine raising that kind of money! Then Heather and I were talking about it, and rationalizing it, and it seemed we could do it, if for no other reason, barring all logic, we had it in our hearts to accomplish it. 

Has it been easy? No… there has been a lot of lost sleep Crafting for a Cure (which you read previously hasn't been the most successful of ideas) and selling Bondi Bands, and of course planning events…That is what brings me to the right now… 


The TNT Lousy Medal Virtual 5k Run/Walk! Of course this is a no frills event which benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! How it works is like this, you Register for it, then on December 17th, you run or walk wherever YOU want! There are no timing chips, no bibs, no waiting in line at a porta-john (wondering why you thought it was a good idea to eat/drink whatever you did), no age group awards, or fruit/bagels/water waiting for you at the finish (well unless you ask your friends & family)…So I know, it doesn't sound like you get a lot for your $20 donation right? WELL, just hold your horses, because you do get something… besides knowing you are helping those with blood cancer (which may just be enough for you) - You are going to earn yourself a lousy medal!

Be forewarned, I am not going to reveal this lousy medal, but it's not going to be all that lousy because I love race bling just as much as the next girl… I think you will be pretty proud to have this shiny momento… but yes, it will not be pictured until after they are mailed, post event. It's going to be killing me not to share it with you but I think it will add to the suspense and after all, it's about charity not bling…ok a little about bling too but like 99.98% about charity!

So I hope that regardless of your athletic talents, you will take part in the 
TNT Lousy Medal Virtual 5k Run/Walk… I would love to see some pictures, maybe local groups will go out together and run or walk it… Oh dare to dream… I would love for everyone to share the link, lousyrunner.com and see just how many people we can get to support the LLS Team in Training!

Did I mention there is a prize package in the works? Yup, you return to the site and leave a comment that you finished and you will be entered into the random drawing!!! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Getting Crafty... or at least I thought!

Ok, so let me first start off by saying, I would never have called myself crafty, not in the tricky, cunning way and certainly not in the glue gun and ribbon way, but when I started on this mission to raise money with Team in Training, I found myself the later of the two crafty's - or at least I thought!

I have been painting, hot gluing and making more bows then I would have ever imagined in the past month or so... I am not sure how it started really...oh right, Pinterest. I was turned onto this site where people from all over are just a smidgen into a whole world of boards and pins... I was suckered into this vortex by my loving mother in law, thanks GiGi! It all started with the googly eye frame for Halloween...

Ah yah, my frames were AWESOME (if I do say so myself!) and then that lead to the, "I bet I could sell these and raise some money for LLS" thought... next thing you know I am spending my Friday and Saturday nights (yes, way different than the weekends of the early 90's) designing, painting and creating these little pieces of handcrafted art decor. I also began making lit cubes, which are made to look like little presents... I made one for Halloween & I have made more than a dozen for the holiday season... I love these things, they are SO pretty & they make great little night lights!
Well this past Saturday was the big craft show where I was going to sell out of all my frames, cubes and bows, where I would easily be able to hit my 50% mark in my fundraising efforts, and undoubtedly be taking orders for customized creations (I even had the carbon copy invoice papers to do it!) - Oh yes, this event had me up near midnight for days, preparing for what would be a glorious day in my TNT journey. I just knew it would be worth it...
Look at me, so excited & hopeful... such a shame...lol
We arrive right on time, GiGi was so fabulous to come help me! We got our cramped little table set up, albeit my marketing skills kinda blew on this one, I didn't make price signs, and apparently (I learned later on) people need to see how they could use a bow, like I should have taken pictures of how I use bows in my decorating... Honestly, I just thought it would sell itself because it's a bow - not a juicer, but I guess I was wrong.

It started off slow, but it was cold out... after the first 15 minutes I had texted Stephen that we'd had a few lookers but nothing sold yet. After an hour and a half, my next text simply said "This sucks." - I know I am an overachiever and perhaps expected too much, but when it came to be 1:30pm (4.5 hours into the 6 hour event) and I had sold 1 cube and 1 frame, and I had already cried 3 times... I was exhausted, I was disappointed and I just couldn't understand why people wouldn't love my work... especially since it was all going to charity!!!

The next hour and a half was slow and painful, as people were obvious in their attempts to not make eye contact, walk by quickly saying "Pretty, Pretty" (yeah blue hair, I heard you!) and when I finally decided to take a few minutes away to catch the end of the first half of the Gamecocks game, I returned to see GiGi had sold another frame... I contemplated the notion that perhaps I needed to watch the rest of the game and let her handle the table but I didn't...

The only other thing we sold was another cube, the to the Partylite Consultant at the table next to ours. So 6 hours, 3 full on tearfeasts, 2 fight hard to hold back tears, and 1 pathetic attempt to raise money... we sold 2 cubes and 2 frames. So, between the cost of the table and lunch, I am down $70 and raised a whopping $44 for TNT. Not exactly the all out, balls to the walls event I had in my mind, imagined.

I guess I must have sounded so down my darling hubby arranged for GiGi to keep Gabby so we could go out to dinner, I could have those drinks and then get a full, uninterrupted nights sleep... yeah, he's a keeper :)  So after the Great Craft debacle of 2011, I arrived home to see my angel and hubby waiting to greet me in the driveway. Nothing like a nice family hug to melt away all the bad of the day. Gabby now gives kisses, which is so adorable and makes my heart smile. Stephen and I did have an awesome dinner out, I had a few Cosmos (made it for happy hour too which is bonus!) and of course we did partake in a caffeinated (loving the Pumpkin Spice coffee or latte or whatever it is!) stroll through Barnes & Noble... then home where I slept so soundly, it was pure bliss...

As far as Crafting for a Cure, crashing and burning, I won't allow myself to get too discouraged, just know that I don't fail...  While this was an unexpected set back, I am moving forward. I have about a dozen custom frames that I need to do for some awesome peeps... and I know that the next show will be great...it has to be! (I've warned my relatives that if I don't sell this stuff they are all getting a frame and cube for Christmas and my tree will be covered in just bows!!!)

Just a few of my little frames!
I will also post pictures of my little masterpieces on my facebook page...ya know, in case you want one...lol (hey, I am not giving up!)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Blustery CareTeam Race Report

 It was a cold, windy, morning… One of those mornings where I would normally stay in my fuzzy fleece jammy jams and sip coffee under the blankets. Of course, I had already committed to the CareTeam Beach Run & AIDS Walk, so I had to get up and get moving.

There was a little debate about whether or not it would be a good idea to bring Gabby to the race, in the end we decided it was going to be too cold and windy for the princess to be out. Admittedly, I was just a tiny bit bummed because I love having my hubs & baby girl at the finish line…A girl gets used to the cheering section. As I hopped in the car and headed toward the race, I thought it was ok, I've done races alone before (usually I know someone who is racing as well, but not today) and it wasn't a big deal.

When I pulled onto Ocean Blvd, I parked in a place that I was hoping was legal (the last race we got a ticket, and you have 4 days to pay it or they charge you an additional $10, needless to say I sent it in about 45 days later…lol). As I watched the palmetto trees sway in the wind, I had a thought, 10mph winds my a$$, more like 25! I got out of the car and immediately was relieved that my little pumpkin was not with me. She would have been so cold, and I would have felt so horrible!

I checked in, got the usual race stuff and then heard how the ENTIRE race was on the beach… WTH, I had no idea… I guess the whole "Beach Run" didn't relay to me that it was on the beach, I simply thought it was called that because it was AT the Beach…damn. Have I mentioned before how I despise running on the beach, sand is not this runners friend (not sure how many runners like the sand really) but hey I was here, and I was doing it. Have I mentioned how COLD it was??? At least it was for a good cause, otherwise I may have bailed (haha no I wouldn't of, I'm just talking smack now).

The gentleman who addressed the audience spoke of how he was HIV Positive at the age of 22, and how it was 20 years ago. He went on to talk about how grateful he was to still be alive, and happy that we all came out to support the cause. I guess it's true how 10-15 years ago, HIV & AIDS was all over the news, new studies seemed to come out all the time, people were in shock over it's impact, now, can you tell me the last statistic you've heard in the media about HIV or AIDS? Yeah, me neither. I guess we've become desensitized to the health issue, the impact it has on our country… Now we hear more about salmonella deaths than those a result of HIV/AIDS.

It was then time to make our way down to the beach, and instructions were given. Here I go! I was hoping for a PR kind of day, but the trifecta of cold, wind and sand, basically abolished that thought. I was just going to run it, outcome unimportant.

I do now know what a real jellyfish looks like (a dead one anyway, which in my opinion is the only way I want to see one), they are one of the hazards when running on the beach. Poor guy in front of me almost busted his a$$ as he stepped on a carcass…sorry guy but better you than me! It wasn't a horrible run, I am not a fan of the down and back, where I am forced to count the people on their way back already and in this race, twice.
As my run was concluding I could read the clock (mind you my thumbs were fastened securely in the shirt sleeve so I hadn't looked at my Garmin at all) it said 25:50 and counting… In my mind I thought, NO WAY!!! Of course when I came to the end of the chute and they were removing my chip, I looked at my Garmin and said, "That's what I thought…No way". The course was about a half mile short (a minor miscommunication for the first turn around location), for a split second I thought I had done something so awesome, but alas, not so much…lol It was fine really, I got my finishers medal and because it was a small event, I placed first in my age group. I wish the course had been 3.1miles, but it wasn't, and that is life, sometimes you come up short! I thought sticking it out, even though it was freezing (relative to location, I am sure you guys from Michigan, Minnesota and all points around there would laugh) and it was in the sand, was my accomplishment for the day. BONUS was there was free Starbucks coffee, so instead of rehydrating with water, I opted for the hot coffee - if for no other reason than to thaw out my digits!

Moral of a beach run, at least you're not a jellyfish! Happy Running!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Remembering Why You RUN

Since the start of my running 'career', my debut being in 1993, which happens to coincide with day one of ARMY boot camp, I had never had much desire to log long distances. Over the past year, I have developed this obsession with conquering my own fears of failure, removing self imposed limits, and setting out to do things I thought, for me, were impossible. I just had to start, I had to be brave enough to take that step… If you remember, on October 23rd, I did my first Half Marathon. My chip time 2:42:22, a good effort for not having the proper training and thinking that new shoes and orthotics wouldn't play into any issues while running 13.1, which incidentally, was about 6 miles longer than I had ever run before.  As I saw some of my friends post their times, for some reason, I began feeling a little embarrassed about my finish time, especially when everyone I know (and who ran on Sunday) finished anywhere from 15-45minutes before me… Of course I had to remind myself again, not to compare myself to others, simply focus on my accomplishments. Seems to be a theme for me, but my race is my race and I am happy for all those who finish their race, regardless of how fast or not fast in your opinion it may be!

So the other day, Halloween actually, I ran for the first time since the half. I felt great - it's amazing how my mindset has changed… the difference between facing 13.1 and 3.1 - I know it's not rocket science, but I really started to push a little harder… I looked at my splits 9:38, 9:59, 9:37 (I guess I was starting to slack on the 2nd mile) it really makes me think about how much our minds play with us. I made a point of not looking at my Garmin, I didn't want my mind to tell me to slow down, I just wanted to feel the run… Total time: 30:10 which is good, it's not a PR it's not under 30 but you know what, I felt really awesome and that my friends, is why I run. I FELT great. I was owning my run. It didn't matter what was happening, I was happy, I was feeling free and empowered and like a rockstar in my personal world of Guitar Hero, I was Randy Rhodes (back when he was on the rails of the crazy train that is…not know obviously- R.I.P.)

We all have points whether we are trying to lose weight, increase our strength, agility, or just keep fit, where we look at the person next to us and think, Why can't I be that thin, fast, strong, or whatever. Now, I don't want to lecture on owning our pace and not comparing ourselves to others, that was my last post. I just felt like I got out there and ran for me without expectation, with out a plan, just laced up and hit the road and it rejuvenated me, it brought me this empowerment. Sure you may be sitting there reading this and thinking, a 9:45 avg? Is she even serious? What a turtle! (Ok, if you are seriously thinking that stop reading my blog and move on) BUT that feeling I had, it was almost indescribable (honestly, I felt like I was going faster) how at ease I was and at the same time, pushing myself a little harder… For once (in a long while) I felt like, it's not about anyone else - it's about me and the progress I am making, it's about my goals, my journey, and I am feeling FABULOUS! (I totally read that with the sound of OPRAH saying it…did you?)

It is that feeling, that desire to put out the best I have to offer that reminds me of why I run. In reality, not all runs will feel like that. Just today I had a run that sucked a$$, and I was telling my friend how I wished every run could be awesome, but is it going to stop me from getting out there tomorrow? Heck NO!

Hey as with everything in life, there is the good, the bad and the ugly… sometimes you get out there and the wind is always at your back, your feet are light as feathers and you can set a new PR - other days you feel like your legs are made of lead, you feel like you could pooh yourself at any minute, and you just can't wait to be done! The ONE thing that make those two completely opposite runs great, you FINISH.

Speaking of which, I have a 5k tomorrow, the CareTeam 5k AIDS Run/Walk… I'd be lying if I said I am not looking to have a PR type run, 29:22 was my best since the baby (and quite honestly probably the best since I started "racing") ***Correction*** Apparently in Oct of 2009, I ran Lindsey's Miracle 5k for the Make a Wish Foundation and finished in a speedy 28:57, who knew? *** and I would LOVE to see myself push really hard and do it under 29 (secretly I'd love, love, love a 9mm throughout - but lets be reasonable here…lol). If I don't PR, well, I won't be too hard on myself. I know I will have gotten out, helped a charitable cause by running a few miles, and honestly, doing good work by doing what you enjoy…what is better than that? Nothing.